BBC Three is returning to broadcast TV six years after it moved online to BBC iPlayer.
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Last year, BBC research concluded there was a “strong case” for BBC Three to return to broadcast TV with a focus on younger audiences. The BBC’s chief content officer Charlotte Moore said in a statement that the corporation “needs to back success and make sure its programmes reach as many young people as possible wherever they live in the UK”.
She continued: “So regardless of the debates about the past, we want to give BBC Three its own broadcast channel again. It has exciting, groundbreaking content that deserves the widest possible audience and using BBC iPlayer alongside a broadcast channel will deliver the most value.”
The channel will target audiences aged 16-34 and broadcast programmes from 7pm to 4am every day, BBC News reports.
But MP Julian Knight, who chairs the select committee for the department for digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS), challenged the the move, saying that the BBC had “failed” younger audiences. “I question whether putting the clock back five years is the right way to win over 18-35s,” Knight told the BBC.
Knight also criticised the decision to double BBC Three’s budget over the next two years when “those over 75 are being chased to pay up for their TV licences”. Last year, the BBC scrapped free TV licences for most over-75s after the government pulled funding.